Naruto by Masashi Kishimoto-
Chapter 627 Sasuke's Answer
The previous chapters of Naruto have focused on series protagonist Naruto's main rival, Sasuke Uchiha, as he swings between good and evil in making his decision about whether to fight for or against Konoha Village. To make his decision, Sasuke sought the reason for the existence of shinobi from the previous Hokage of Konoha.
This chapter finishes this particular story with Sasuke resolving to protect the village and his brother, Itachi's legacy after coming to the realization that ninja are people who must endure suffering for their goals. I'm pretty happy with decision since it's the first rational one I felt the character has made in some time and it means that Sasuke may be returning as a good guy, which is honestly something he hasn't been since the end of the Chuunin Exam arc.
And while I'm glad that this is the decision Kishimoto decided to have the character take, I really question the need for Sasuke to take so long to come to a conclusion that was so obvious- Itachi gave everything for Konoha, so of course if Sasuke destroyed the village it'd fly in the face of everything Itachi lived for. I don't really see how this was as huge a revelation as the author was trying to go for. But then again, part of the reason why I've disliked Sasuke's characterization for so long is because the character seemingly has no rational way of making choices in life.
I also question the sudden switch in previously main antagonist Orochimaru's personality, before his recent resurrection he was a power mad, murderous villain with a questionable liking for kids and creepy snake powers, now he seems really laid back and passive, like he's stoned or something. Again, questionable writing decisions...
I'm excited to see the Hokage in action with the other heroes, and I'm guessing we'll see a Madara vs. Sasuke and Obito vs. Naruto last battle or something. Wondering how Hashirama's going to take his granddaughter being cut it two... While Naruto as a series has been both great and disappointing, I am honestly looking forward to seeing and enjoying the end of the series.
Thanks to Manga Panda's scanlation for the images, but remember to check out VIZ Media's Shonen Jump online subscriptions to support the original author, Masashi Kishimoto.